Hungarian cornmeal squares with plum jam – Kukoricaprósza

This post is about an old Hungarian dessert, which comes from the western part of our country; Somogy, Zala and Vas counties are the homeland of the hearty dish called prósza. Prósza, which means lepény (pie), was the food of poor families in the old times, later it fell into oblivion, but now it’s flourishing again. Prósza is usually prepared in two different ways: the salty version is made with grated potatoes, wheat flour and soured milk; the other type that serves as a dessert is virtually a cornmeal pie spotted with plum jam on top.

The popularity of kukoricaprósza is not by chance, its ingredients make it able to meet the requirements of the newest diet trends. This cornmeal pie is gluten-free, and can be also declared sugar-free provided that you use homemade plum jam that doesn’t contain added sugar. Cornmeal is an excellent source of fiber, and also contains an important phospholipid membrane component called phosphatidylserine: it helps boost memory, the ability to focus or concentrate, and cognitive functions.

Kefir and/or sour cream are generally used to make cornmeal squares, but the recipe works with yogurt, too. If you don’t have sugar-free jam, you can replace it with prunes. Instead of lard you can sprinkle the top of the dish with oil, however lard tastes better. Plum jam dulcifies the pastry enough, so the lack of added sugar can’t be noticed; despite that prósza may be dusted with icing sugar if necessary.

Cornmeal squares with plum jam

Corn meal squares with plum jam / Kukorica prószaphotos: zserbo.com

Ingredients:

  • 250 g (~1 2/3 cups) corn meal, finely ground
  • 900 g (~3 2/3 cups) kefir or yogurt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp melted lard
  • pinch of salt
  • 7-8 tbsp plum jam

Size of the baking pan: 24×34 cm (9×13 inch)

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a baking pan.

Combine cornmeal, kefir, salt and baking soda. Pour the mass into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle melted lard on top, then drop piles of plum jam all over the surface. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until barely golden. Serve lukewarm.

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